KINGSTON – Upset about unpaid fines, police allege, Frank Kearney threatened to kill a district judge by saying an "army" of people were flying in from several states to help him.
Kearney, 50, of Southview Apartments on Monroe Street, Wilkes-Barre, allegedly made the threat during a phone call with a secretary in District Judge Paul Roberts' office in Kingston on Aug. 10.
Kearney was arrested Monday night on two counts of terroristic threats and harassment and arraigned by District Judge Martin Kane in Wilkes-Barre. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $40,000 bail.
According to the criminal complaint filed by Kingston police, Kearney called Roberts' office inquiring about an outstanding arrest warrant. Kearney was advised there were multiple arrest warrants for unpaid fines in excess of $2,200.
Kearney told a secretary he had been released from jail and was going through a hard time. He was advised to directly speak with Roberts on Aug. 13 about a payment plan.
Later in the day on Aug. 10, according to the complaint, Kearney called Roberts' office and told a secretary, "Cancel the appointment. I'm just going to murder the judge. Yeah, I just flew in from Florida and a lot of people are pissed off about these warrants. I've got an army of people flying in from several states. There's tribes of people. We're going to get together and murder the judge and (an undercover drug detective)."
The secretary asked Kearney, "So you're telling me that you're going to murder the judge?"
Kearney replied, "Yes, these warrants are (expletive). I'm just going to murder the judge. The way I figure, it's fair to give the judge a heads up so he has a chance to protect himself," the complaint says.
Police traced the phone number to Kearney's residence.
Kearney allegedly admitted to police on Monday that he told the secretary that "a crazy person would be trying to kill people, instead of trying to straighten things out," according to the complaint.
A review of court records shows Kearney owes fines on citations of public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, harassment and criminal mischief.